From the mouth of a babe
Carine on Carine: The legendary editor’s best quotes »
In the fashion realm, Carine Roitfeld looms large. Her styling work—for French Vogue, Chanel, Givenchy—is memorable, and her role in the rise of talented designers and photographers like Tom Ford and Mario Sorrenti has been well documented. But her beauty influence has mostly been limited to those who obsessively follow fashion week street-style shots of her, with her smudged-black eyes and unbrushed hair falling over her face. So it’s a pleasant surprise that M.A.C, a company known for thinking well outside the model/pretty celebrity box, has asked the 57-year-old stylist and editor to compose a collection of cosmetics (from $18, maccosmetics.com) and pose for its campaign. “I think it is smart, because to be beautiful is not just about being a classic beauty. There is something subtler but more touching in you that is beautiful too,” says Roitfeld when we meet at the New York flagship bookstore of Rizzoli, the publisher of Irreverent, her glossy scrapbook memoir of last year. Wearing a camouflage Junya Watanabe sweater, YSL pencil skirt and bright green Balenciaga stiletto sandals, with that smoky liner and no lipstick, she’s typically un-“done” and exudes cool, though her warm manner is far from the frosty fashion stereotype.
The M.A.C collection is a tightly edited mix of black, black and more black, with a little taupe and caramel thrown in—the sole splash of colour is a deep red nail polish. In an unexpected twist, there’s a small star-shaped stencil intended to be worn on the face. (Her explanation: “Because I don’t have a beauty spot.”) Roitfeld takes her smoky eyes seriously—after giving birth to both of her children, she applied black liner before receiving visitors. “Even though I’m not a specialist, I know exactly what I want the softness and the quality of the pencil to be,” she says, “the type of black, the quality of the mascara.”
“I think the beauty of a woman is not just her parts—her hair, the way she’s standing, what she’s wearing—its the whole person.”
She was exposed to the vagaries of liner formulas early on, when she was enlisted to paint on her mother’s cat eyes in the early ’70s. “It was liquid, but from a long time ago. It dried very strangely and it was not nice at all.” She admits that she now does everything with her fingers. “I don’t know how to do my makeup very well—it’s always a bit messy. Maybe in a nice way, like you forgot to take off your makeup before you went to sleep at night and the next morning it is a bit destroyed.” Of course, nothing concerning aesthetics is really an accident where Roitfeld is concerned. She relates a story about how Liz Taylor would take a bath after she did her makeup because the steam made it look more natural. “That’s why she was always late,” she says. “I think that is a good reference for my makeup.”
Join the discussion
Neither the author nor FASHION Magazine necessarily agrees with the comments posted here. Editors will not correct spelling or grammar. FASHION Magazine reserves the right to edit or delete comments entirely.
Brand New on Fashion
- Wedding day beauty: Whether you’re the bride or a guest, 10 tips for romantic makeup and hair
- Discounts for all! Kate Spade, J.Crew, Hudson’s Bay and more will open at Toronto Premium Outlets
- Behind the scenes at Tanya Taylor’s wedding: From her haute couture wedding gown to the tropical paradise venue
- What to wear on holiday: 41 shopping must-haves for the summer’s most stylish events
- Kate Middleton (and royal baby bump) shine in yellow Emilia Wickstead at the Queen’s garden party